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Gout is a form of arthritis that typically affects your big toe. It causes joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. Gout develops when levels of uric acid in your blood reach too high a level. The acid then crystallizes and builds up in your big toe joint.
Uric acid comes from purines, substances found in many types of food. Your kidneys normally filter out the uric acid, and it leaves your body in your urine. However, some people’s kidneys don’t flush the uric acid effectively enough, or they might develop excessive levels of uric acid in their bodies. The result is high levels of uric acid in your blood and the onset of gout.
Gout usually comes on in an attack of acute pain. The large joint at the base of your big toe becomes hot, swollen, red, and tender to touch, and is extremely painful.
Patients who have gout say the pain can become so bad that even the slightest touch or movement can be agonizing. The attacks of pain can last for hours or sometimes days and occur regularly.
Although the big toe is by far the most common joint to be affected by gout, it can also affect your ankles as well.
When you visit Dr. Cancelliere, he examines your feet carefully and talks to you about your symptoms. Your description of the problem is a good indication you have gout, but Dr. Cancelliere can draw a sample of fluid from your big toe joint to confirm your diagnosis.
Uric acid crystals are visible under a microscope, so their presence is confirmation that you have gout. If there aren’t any crystals in the sample, Dr. Cancelliere checks for other causes for your symptoms, such as infection or inflammation.
When you have an attack of gout, anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce the pain and inflammation. However, due to the complexity of the molecule, which causes gout, uric acid, traditional medications, only obtund the inflammatory process and treat the symptoms. However, there is a medication that is taken by intravenous infusion, which transforms the molecule and allows it to be completed removed and washed away out of your body. This treatment will arrest the destructive effects of uric acid build-up related to gout and prevent future flares. Dr. Cancelliere might also use other treatments such as steroid injections, oral steroids, and medication that reduces uric acid levels in your blood. Without treatment, the uric acid crystals can form large deposits that you can see and feel under your skin. Gout can also cause permanent joint damage and develop into a chronic pain problem.
Without treatment, the uric acid crystals can form large deposits that you can see and feel under your skin. Gout can also cause permanent joint damage and develop into a chronic pain problem.
If you suspect you have gout, call Candria Foot & Ankle Specialists today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Cancelliere, or book an appointment online.